View From The Booth

Pete Medhurst offers his views on Navy and the rest of the college football landscape for the weekend of October 29th.

If you believe everything you read Navy might as well just send the Sprint Football Team up to Rutgers on Saturday.

 

As Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano boasted after beating UCONN with its third string quarterback at the helm, "We have arrived". Welcome to our world, coach. Do you know how many bowl games Navy has been in since Rutgers last played in its only one?

 

Granted, it has not been easy for Rutgers, playing the Miami's, Virginia Tech's. Boston College's of the world during their normal Big East slate.  That's three automatic L's that have since left the league.  Rutgers has done all it can to help Schiano and company get better -- billboards, Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) -- you name it, they have tried it.  Finally it seems as if they have turned the corner.  This Rutgers team has some material.

 

Many teams would love to have a Brian Leonard (could you see him as the ace-back in the Navy Spread?), Ray Rice, Tres Moses, their tight ends, lineman, etc. You name it; they have it.

 

"We have guys who believe in what we're trying to do here," Schiano said. We have to remained focused though on the next game and we know Navy is a good team, they had their way with us last year," Schiano said.

 

Two years ago, Navy had drives stopped by penalties and turnovers and a memorable blocked kick that got returned for a score. Last year's 54-7  score says it all.

 

Navy MUST NOT turn the ball over against the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers is going to score some points. Navy, however, could also put up some points. Rutgers has not really stopped Navy the last two times they have played and Navy arguably has faster people running the skill spots right now.

 

For the bettors in the crowd, this game has the OVER written all over it.

 

Certainly the topic of the week has been the Fisher DeBerry situation. Joe Miller and I will touch on this topic Saturday on the Navy Tailgate Show at 1:30 on www.wnav.com. However, if TCU had too many African-Americans for Air Force to compete with, what happened the last three years, when Aaron Polanco, Kyle Eckel, Craig Candeto, Marco Nelson, Rob Caldwell, Jeremy Chase and Josh Smith all made huge plays in the seizing of the Commander-In-Chiefs-Trophy from the Falcons?  Additionally, Navy seems to have several African-American players who have starring roles this year -- Lamar Owens, Jason Tomlinson, David Mahoney, Reggie Campbell, Karlos Whitaker, and Keenan Little.  In fact Navy starts by my count at least nine on many occasions. African American players will attend a military academy; you just have to go ask them to. 

 

Fisher DeBerry is a class guy. You don't have the success they have had during his tenure if you are not. However I, for one, would be very surprised if there isn't a new face on the sidelines when Navy travels to Colorado Springs next year. New administration usually means new coach, especially for a program that will not win the CIC for a third year in a row. I applaud Air Force's administration for not rushing to judgment here, as DeBerry deserves to finish the season.  I was worried when they announced a press conference yesterday.  Sometimes as we often learn in life, sometimes it's better to say nothing at all.

 

This week's fact and opinion:

 

Fact: Texas jumped over USC in the BCS poll this week.

Opinion: If USC and Virginia Tech win out, they will likely jump Texas based on who remains on their schedules. USC still has ranked teams to play in CAL, Fresno State, and UCLA. Tech has BC and Miami both still to play and perhaps BC or Florida State in the ACC Title game. The Big 12 this year has finally crashed.

 

Fact: Georgia will be without D.J. Shockley against Florida in the big Cocktail Party in Jacksonville.

Opinion: Georgia will win anyway. We are destined to have four unbeaten teams this year and it will be the second straight year the SEC gets hosed. Georgia's defense is very good and Chris Leak looks like he's running for his life in the Urban Meyer offense.

 

Fact: The Big East still gets a BCS berth.

Opinion: I bet the Fiesta Bowl just can't wait for a potential South Florida/West Virginia/Rutgers vs. Miami or Wisconsin/Penn State match-up. I (likely along with the bowl committee) am hoping for Penn State vs. West Virginia -- at least they will both travel.

 

Fact: Southern Mississippi is in first place in Conference USA's East Division, tied with Central Florida.

Opinion: One of my favorite players in all of college football is Dustin Almond.  The USM QB has a rating of 134.47, has 14 TD passes on the year and is tough as nails. If USM stays in first he should beat out DeAngelo Williams for player of the year.  While George O'Leary is likely to win coach of the year honors since his winless team from last year is 4-3 and 3-1 in league play, Jeff Bower is really the league's best coach.


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